J. P. Holding, alias tektontv youtube channel has given a rather goodish show about "who wrote the Gospels".
In three criteria, he has managed to avoid naming by name my main criterium, namely tradition of authorship.
His three criteria are:
- 1) internal attribution (like a title page or a colophon or a title, "Annals of Tacitus" or "Gospel According to Saint John");
- 2) external attribution, like other authors citing a work as written by such an author;
- 3) internal evidence of [style and] content, like what is written in a work being consistent with the author claimed to have written it.
- 3 a) subjective evaluation, like author x being a person known for things opposed to or inconsistent with a work y falsely attributed, however care not to put a person in a box;
- 3 b) objective factors like anachronism playing against an author being the real one.
He has not noted that all the three factors, and the two sub factors of factor three too, are tradition.
There is internal attribution, but that is the tradition of manuscript.
There is external attribution, but the most thorough such is from an entire tradition (such as ALL Church + most schismatics and slight heretics considering the four Gospels genuine, everyone who mentions them accepts them, no one who mentions them disagrees with authorship) - and those who discard that will settle for tradition piecemeal. Such and such an early author considering the authorship as genuine is accepted as early - because his books are considered genuinely attributed, because of tradition - and as trustworthy - a Church Father credibly speaking the mind of the Church, for instance, again because of tradition.
There is consistency between author and content.
But what we know from an author beside the contents of his books is known from tradition.
There is consistency between period of author and content (Tacitus did not, like JPH pointed out, say Nero took chicken from a fridge and put it in microwave ovens), but what we know about period of author we mainly know from ... tradition. In the case of fridges and microwave ovens from a tradition which says these were invented (consulting wiki for these traditional truths) as to DOMESTIC fridge (not earliest one) 1876 by Carl von Linde, the microwave oven was ready for use (but not much used) by 1975. From family tradition I know my maternal grandparents (1900-1976, 1911-1993) had no fridge when small and the posh stepfather had no microwave oven while I was in his home (which ceased sth like 72, 73 or so).
If there are more than one tradition, which agree, so much the better.
If there are more than one tradition to decide between, that leaves some leaway for personal judgement.
For authorship of the Gospels, there is NOT more than one tradition to decide between, at least as far as Synoptics are concerned. For authorship of Fourth Gospel, we can be sure there are two early claims, one NOT getting the backing of subsequent tradition, namely Cerinthus, one getting it, namely John.
When it comes to external attribution, J. P. Holding is somewhat averse to testimony by ... tramps.
Who Authored the New Testament, Part 2
At 2:16 (if not even earlier) in the video, he shows a tramp (maybe one prison inmate or ex such, he is prison guardian, stood model, maybe he paid a tramp a handsome sum) with a cardboard saying "don't buy the lie, Elmo wrote it".
Referring to one Elmo Thudpucker, proposed alternative author for the book The Case for Christ, A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (most accepted author being Lee Strobel
I should hope this adverse opinion of ... tramps ... does not hold of claims about ... tramps ... writing a book.
Because normally speaking, he is on the side of St John writing the Fourth Gospel. So am I. However, we know from a life of St John (considered genuine though not canonic by the tradition we have the authrship "John" from) that John was at times ... a tramp.
- He lived without money, like St Francis of Assisi, and he punished discioples who wanted back the money they had given away when becoming his disciples (note, this is for so to speak consecrated tramps, like him or St Francis, ordinary lay tramps do have a right to try to get money, including by writing).
- He stayed over night in an inn where the bed had bed bugs. It was an abandoned inn, and thanks to a miracle he slept tight, but still, who but a ... tramp ... would have been sleeping in that inn anyway?
Anyway, if a tramp on a cardboard has a text like:
First of all you can go to http://NOV9BLOGG9.BLOGSPOT.COM
and to http://FILOLOHIKA.BLOGSPOT.COM
and check if there is any article in ENG (as in English) on both and any article in FR (as in français) on both. If the blog is good, it doesn't matter if you get the tip from the tramp for your enjoyment - but you might want to give the tramp a tip for giving you the tip.
Second, if you ask the tramp if the blog is his, and he says yes, there are ways of checking that which are not totally blocked by the fact he is a tramp.
For instance, when two young volunteers from Bismarck NY or POtsdam NY were at the soup kitchen of St Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris, it seems someone had wanted them to make a check up on the matter.
I promised them the recipe of Knödel on my recipes blog, and though I was delayed, here it is:
Recipes from Home and Abroad : Knödel / Knoedel / Knedlici are NOT REALLY dumplings
Similarily, the parish St Ambrose had a volunteer or employee who was interested in Swedish herring recipes, on Christmas eve I gave such, links to Swedish online recipes, my own translation in French:
Recipes from Home and Abroad : Hareng à la suédoise
On top of that blog, just under the blog title or header, we see a button "Blogs/bloggar
". If we click it we find a series of blogs of same author (dedication to the Blessed Virgin mentions "haec bloggata et alia mea scripta", "these blogged things and other writings of mine", so the author of all of these blogs may be presumed to be the same).
|[Not including links, go to page for them.]
Die 8vo Dec. anni ecclesiastici iam MMXI, anni civilis autem MMX, dedicavi haec bloggata et alia mea scripta ad quam vincula do ad Cor Immaculatum Mariæ eâ occasione quâ parœchia Scti Nicolai in Cardoneto renovavit dedicationem parœchiæ
Creation vs. Evolution, somewhere else, Great Bishop of Geneva!
Notes/noter/Noten & théorie musicale English/French:
Polyglotta Sw/Eng/Fr ...:
Index I, Index II
continued on/continué sur/fortsatt på:
Trivium, Quadrivium 7 c.
Correspondence de / of / van Hans-Georg Lundahl
New blog on the kid
HGL's Facebook writings
MSN Group Antimodernism in memoriam
Recipes from Home and Abroad
If you did go to NOV9BLOGG9.BLOGSPOT.COM you will know it has a title matching one of above, namely New blog on the kid. As for FILOLOHIKA.BLOGSPOT.COM, its full title is Φιλολoγικά/Philologica, but it may be identified by the sole Latin title, as in list above.
And if you click things on the "Blogs/bloggar
" page, you will also know that New blog on the kid has a URL matching NOV9BLOGG9.BLOGSPOT.COM on the cardboard of that tramp, and that Philologica has a URL matching the FILOLOHIKA.BLOGSPOT.COM on the cardboard of the tramp.
Of course all this could be faked (and so could the match between the signature of MANY a blog post with the name in the passport of the tramp!), but I think JPH somewhere said that that is inherent in authorship tests anyway. And that the onus probandi is on the one doubting the authorship.
If you take the note that content on blogs is inconsistent with being written by a tramp, how about noting not just authors but also tramps should not be put in a box?
Hans Georg Lundahl
Sts Morris, Exupéry, Candid,
Victor, Innocent, Vital and Companions
Martyrs of Theban Legion